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Rail Route - Train Dispatching Game/Sim


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I've been playing this neat simulation/management game where you dispatch trains while trying to grow your railway company. It's an interesting premise for a game that I've been really enjoying lately so I thought I would share it here and see if anyone else plays it or would be into it, as well. The game is called "Rail Route" and you can find it on Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1124180/Rail_Route/

One really cool thing is that there are both official and user-made maps. The one I'm currently playing on is a user-created one, "Tokyu Railways" which you can check out here: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2546003543

Of course, there's a bunch of other ones in the Steam Workshop such as maps for Beijing, Amsterdam, Manchester, etc. I would recommend starting off on "Endless" maps as you have more time to figure things out and can just go at your own pace. They also have "Timetable" maps where you need to keep to a certain timetable in order to score a lot of points.

Anyway, I hope someone else finds this as cool as I do, haha.

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disturbman

At first I thought you were taking about some sort of cross-over between A-Train and Mini Metro, but, no. Sounds interesting. How long takes a map?

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The first comparison I heard that got me interested was that Rail Route is sort of like a more complex Mini Metro. I would say it's definitely a very different game, though, even if the general graphical style is somewhat similar. 

I think it depends. Especially with Endless maps, there's technically no end unless you cause a crash or something. But there are different difficulties of maps, so for Timetable maps, some might be quicker to finish than others. I haven't actually given Timetable maps much of a try but my understanding is you're going for a high score there and you go through a specific schedule, so I think they just end when you finish the schedule and then it tallies up your score. 

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disturbman

I have had issues to get into games recently because I usually like longer playthroughs and have only limited amount of free time. Otherwise, I would probably be playing the new Rimworld extension or Humankind. I even picked up a handheld with incorporated emulators to do some light, random gaming.

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I've played the game. Tried two official maps, Prague and Rhätische Bahn, both in endless mode. So far, my feelings are mixed, but I understand the game is still in development.

 

The very first impression was that the controls are a lot similar to controller simulator Unisim (also known as Gordikon, Multikon, Softikon). Building tracks in such tight space was quite challenging, it was kinda apparent that the creators forced me to build in the same way as real railways are built. I played both for enough time to get all enhancements.

 

The game changed dramatically during the gameplay - in the beginning I was  merely a controller, yet after some improvements the game changed into railway building and company management. The change was quite quick for me - I enjoy controller games, yet with the amount of trains running it was impossible to go in other way than automation.

 

Regarding contracts, the game was very biased towards some stations so in later game phases I was getting a lot of contracts that did not make sense in terms of the railway net I have built so far so the game forced me even more into its own way. The lack of more freedom in contracts is problematic, will probably wait for some time if they come up with a better system.

 

I also had a lot of problems with yards - they can be built only 5 squares from a station, yet require an arrival sensor and a signal to be fully automatic which takes a lot of space. In larger stations, it was not possible to place it with access to several different platforms for different directions. In some stations that are too close to some other station it's even less than 5 squares, making the yard impossible to build efficiently there.

 

In the near future I'm going to try the Timetable mode and also have a look at Steam Workshop stuff.

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@disturbman I know what you mean! I've had my eye on on Rail Route but put it off for a bit because I didn't really think I'd have time for it. I think, so far, it's been okay for just dropping in and playing as you please then coming back the next day. It feels very much like you can expand as quickly or as slowly as you want and there's a pause function and you can save whenever you want. So, it might be worth a try, but I understand the feeling if it doesn't feel substantial to just leave it hanging for some later time. 
 

@katem Thanks very much for the more detailed look at what a longer playthrough is like. I just started playing it so I can't speak much to the endgame. I do like games with a management aspect so I can't say it would bother me to eventually move away from manually controlling the trains. On my current game, though, I've decided to just start off very slowly and am rejecting any contract that goes outside of my small bubble of a couple of stations. So it has allowed me to do more manual control and feel more involved with managing my smaller lines. It does feel like everything is nudging you towards a more automated endgame in terms of controlling the trains, but since there's no actual objectives in Endless mode, you could technically just ignore all that.

Again, I can't say much to the later aspects of the game, but I feel the beginning is, at least, mostly in my control as to what I want to do.

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